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Old 04-15-2021, 01:10 AM   #1
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Unhappy Help! Quick start confusion!

Help help! About a year ago I tried to cycle a tank and couldn't quite get it going. I reached out to a friend who I consider a fish expert and he recommended I use API Quick Start and said I could get a fish right away. Fast forward a few weeks ago I decided to take his advice and I got a betta. I assumed that somehow Quick Start cycled a tank immediately but now I'm seeing that that's not the case?? The bottle says it's safe to add fish immediatly. I got my fish 16 days ago and have been testing the water. two days ago it read .25 for nitrite 0 ammonia and 0 nitrate. I did a 25% water change that day and the day after and vacuumed the substrate and added quick start and stress coat to the water change water. It's still at .25. What do I do? He's in a 5 gal tank now but I have an extra 1.5 gal that I could set up and put him in if I have to cycle the tank without him? But is putting him in the smaller tank with a more frequent water change going to stress him out more? What is Quick Start for?? Why do they say you can immediately put in fish?? What should I do?? I'm so worried. So far he seems totally fine an is eating no problem but I'm afraid this is the start of something bad. Any help would be very much appreciated!!
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Old 04-15-2021, 02:36 AM   #2
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No need to panic.

Products like quick start are marketed as an instant cycle, and as you have found out that isnt the case. At best they will speed up the cycling process, at worst they do nothing. Your friend was right to suggest using such a product as it can help, but to think it will cycle a tank overnight is a bit naive.

The fishkeeping industry is largely unregulated so company's that sell these products can pretty much say what they want. Also, you can add fish right away if you use these products, its not a lie. I dont think the claim is for an instant cycle, its just you can add fish. You can also add fish right away if you dont add these products. In both cases however you need to go through a fish in cycle process. If you use a bottled bacteria product it might speed up this fish in cycle from months to weeks though.

Is your fish fine? Yes. So no need to worry. The levels of waste you are seeing is relatively safe and a normal part of the cycle process.

Your target should be to keep ammonia + nitrite below 0.5ppm combined. If you see for example 0.25ppm of ammonia and 0.25ppm of nitrite do a small 25% water change. You need some ammonia and nitrite to fuel the cycle. Eventually (3 to 8 weeks typically) you wont need to do water changes to maintain 0 ammonia and nitrite and can cut back to doing them to control nitrate, typically to keep nitrate below 40ppm.

You are doing fine. No need to move the fish into a smaller tank, also uncycled. If anything you might be doing too many water changes, you are removing waste before your beneficial bacteria has had chance to use it to grow. Low levels of ammonia and nitrite is relatively safe as long as you don't allow them to elevate, and necessary to the cycle process.
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
No need to panic.

Products like quick start are marketed as an instant cycle, and as you have found out that isnt the case. At best they will speed up the cycling process, at worst they do nothing. Your friend was right to suggest using such a product as it can help, but to think it will cycle a tank overnight is a bit naive.

The fishkeeping industry is largely unregulated so company's that sell these products can pretty much say what they want. Also, you can add fish right away if you use these products, its not a lie. I dont think the claim is for an instant cycle, its just you can add fish. You can also add fish right away if you dont add these products. In both cases however you need to go through a fish in cycle process. If you use a bottled bacteria product it might speed up this fish in cycle from months to weeks though.

Is your fish fine? Yes. So no need to worry. The levels of waste you are seeing is relatively safe and a normal part of the cycle process.

Your target should be to keep ammonia + nitrite below 0.5ppm combined. If you see for example 0.25ppm of ammonia and 0.25ppm of nitrite do a small 25% water change. You need some ammonia and nitrite to fuel the cycle. Eventually (3 to 8 weeks typically) you wont need to do water changes to maintain 0 ammonia and nitrite and can cut back to doing them to control nitrate, typically to keep nitrate below 40ppm.

You are doing fine. No need to move the fish into a smaller tank, also uncycled. If anything you might be doing too many water changes, you are removing waste before your beneficial bacteria has had chance to use it to grow. Low levels of ammonia and nitrite is relatively safe as long as you don't allow them to elevate, and necessary to the cycle process.
Thank you so much for your response! This all sounds good. One (or two) last questions. As this cycling is happening do you recommend that I use Prime (I’ve currently been using stress coat and more QuickStart in the replaced water when I do a water change for the amount of the change, (so if it’s a 25% change I’ll dose it for about 1.25 gal) do you suggest I also start adding prime to protect the fish or is what I’m doing fine? (Also some people seem to add quite a lot of conditioner and bacteria. I’ve used just a bit more than the suggested amount which is 5 drops/liter do you have any thoughts on how much should be used?)
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:45 AM   #4
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You need to treat any new water with water conditioner. Prime and stresscoat are both water conditioners. You dont need both.

Stresscoat claims to be beneficial to fishes slimecoat due to the aloe vera additive. Prime claims to detoxify ammonia and nitrite in the short term. Im not convinced by either claim, so based purely on the cost per litre to treat water i would go for prime. I did in fact change from stresscoat to prime for that very reason. It was the lowest cost per water change for conditioners that i can easily obtain from a local store. You only have 5g though, so its not so much of an issue.

As for how to dose, just follow the instructions. I wouldnt keep dosing the quick start though. You are probably just wasting your money, but if it makes you feel better then knock yourself out, wont do any harm.

With water conditioner, if you are pre treating the water, ie treating it in a bucket before you add it into the tank, then treat for the amount in the bucket. If you are going to refill the tank with untreated water and treat it in the tank, then add enough conditioner to treat the whole tank before adding your untreated water. Given your small tank, i would go for option 1. If you have a larger tank and bigger water changes its a pain to treat bucket by bucket.

Pics please. I like to see fish and tanks.
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Old 04-15-2021, 10:58 AM   #5
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Thanks so much! This is enormously helpful! I'm very new to this forum so I'm not sure how to add photos. Here is a link to an album I just made with the pictures you requested. Let me know if you can see them. https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...bums14851.html

Thanks!!
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